Tobacco companies to retain Philip Morris name, Kraft continues as name for food company
Philip Morris Companies Inc., (NYSE: MO), the parent company of Kraft Foods Inc., Philip Morris International Inc. and Philip Morris USA Inc., today changed its name to Altria Group, Inc. Kraft Foods will continue to be the name of the world's second largest food company; Altria Group's international tobacco company will continue to be called Philip Morris International; and Philip Morris USA will continue to be the name of the largest tobacco company in the United States.
The change brings better clarity to the corporate structure: the relationship of the parent to its operating companies. These operating companies will continue to grow such globally recognized brands as Marlboro, Kraft, Parliament, Oreo, Ritz, Virginia Slims and Oscar Mayer.
Altria Group will retain the stock symbol "MO" because of its link to the company's reputation in the financial community for performance excellence.
The Altria name and logo powerfully express these enduring qualities: its drive toward excellence, its companies' focus on building brands, its passion for success, its openness to innovation, its commitment to its communities and societies, and its focus on its people.
The company's stock will begin trading as Altria Group, Inc. on Monday, January 27, 2003. For more information on Altria Group and its family of companies, visit www.altria.com.
Chairman and CEO Louis C. Camilleri issued the following message to employees on Friday, January 24, 2003.
On Monday, January 27, Philip Morris Companies Inc. and Philip Morris Management Corp. will officially adopt their new names – Altria Group, Inc. and Altria Corporate Services, Inc. The change in the name of the parent company of Kraft Foods, Philip Morris International, Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris Capital Corporation is an important milestone in the evolution of our family of companies. It doesn't signify an end or a beginning. Rather, it marks how far we have come and gives us a framework for how much further we aim to go.
Some things will change and some things will not.
What binds us together as Altria companies and people are many things. Certainly, it is a passion to grow our companies’ businesses, to perform at the highest levels of executional excellence and a dedication to doing things well and thoroughly. Also, a commitment to our people – to helping them grow and develop, based upon an abiding appreciation of the enormous value that a diversity of backgrounds and views brings to the building of our companies' businesses.
As we look to the future, we see more change, more growth, and more development of our people, our operating companies, and their brands. We also see further development of Altria companies’ commitment to responsibility, as we learn more about the evolving societal expectations of each of our companies, and of the parent that oversees them. Aiming higher, reaching further, innovating and growing. The Altria name and logo powerfully express these enduring qualities. The colorful mosaic evokes our enormous diversity, our energy and our operating companies’ astounding portfolios of successful brands.
When a company changes its name, there is often criticism. But I am convinced this is the right thing to do and the right time to do it. Adopting a new name for our parent company is a natural next step in the evolution of this enterprise, and I consider it a privilege to guide our family of companies through this journey.
PMI is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six ot the world’s top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, including Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand, and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the developement and commercialization of Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs). RRPs is the term PMI uses to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. Through multidisciplinary capabalities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and indusrty-leading scientific substantiation, PMI aims to provide an RRP portfolio that meets a broad spectrum of adult smoker preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements.